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Domino’s Pizza to expand in Weirton

WEIRTON – Domino’s Pizza soon will have a new look and a new home in the city of Weirton.

On Monday, representatives of Domino’s Pizza, the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle and local elected officials gathered at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. – which once was home to the Weirton Heights Volunteer Fire Department – to announce the national pizza franchise’s plans to expand its services.

Nationally, Domino’s Pizza has begun to introduce the “pizza theater” concept, which incorporates a dine-in option in addition to its traditional carry-out and delivery services.

Morgan Lacefield, who oversees 14 Domino’s franchises in the region, explained Weirton will be the first in the Ohio Valley to go through the transition.

“We’re adding a new concept of seating, so that’s a new realm for Domino’s,” he said. “It will be the first of this area.”

To do so, however, means a move from its current 1213 Pennsylvania Ave. store.

“Our sales, for years, have been climbing,” Lacefield said of the Weirton location. “We see a bright future in Weirton and want to be a part of it.”

The project is being done in cooperation with the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, which currently owns the site.

According to Pat Ford, executive director of the BDC, the property was part of a purchase by the organization from the Hancock County Commission, which also included the former Jimmy Carey Stadium in downtown Weirton and Newell Memorial Field.

Domino’s, Ford said, is handling all of the interior and exterior structural work for the project, while the BDC is taking care of the parking lot and a nearby retaining wall.

“It will be a half-a-million-dollar investment into the city of Weirton,” Ford said.

According to Lacefield, the Weirton Domino’s currently employs between nine and 11 area residents, with plans to increase to at least 20 employees at the new location. Ford said the pay for those jobs will be between $20,000 and $50,000.

“It’s a great asset to our community,” Weirton Mayor George Kondik said in commending Domino’s and the BDC.

Hancock County Commissioner Mike Swartzmiller applauded the project, saying it is part of local efforts to expand existing businesses while attracting new businesses and industries to the region.

In recent years, the commission and BDC have been working to identify possible locations for development. The Pennsylvania Avenue location is among the sites the county sold to the BDC for that purpose.

“Hancock County really didn’t have a lot of land or opportunity for businesses to come here,” Swartzmiller said. “That was the vision we had. This is the first step.”

Ford also expressed his appreciation to United Bank for assisting with the project’s financing; as well as the Lawn Barber and Hukill Contracting for their contributions.

Lacefield explained they are in the process of completing the final work permit, estimating the project should take 60 days to complete once work begins.

Domino’s Pizza has operated in Weirton for 30 years, according to Lacefield.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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